Laurel and Hardy are still popular today even though their movies were made many years ago. It is due to this popularity that there are many Laurel and Hardy clubs found throughout the world. The International Laurel and Hardy Society is called Sons of the Desert, in tribute to the movie of the same name. The society was founded in America in 1965, and has local chapters which are named “tents”. The Sons of the Desert was formed in 1965 soon after the death of Stan Laurel who gave his blessing for it.
There are over 100 of these tents that are still very active around the world today in such places as Australia, Europe, Great Britain and America. The goal of these tents is to keep Laurel and Hardy and their body of work alive. The society has a main homepage which has links to all the tents around the world. This way a person can find the tent nearest them to join. They also have a Utopia tent for people who can’t find a tent in their region.
Most Laurel and Hardy fan clubs today are tents of the International Laurel and Hardy Society. For example the Night Owls Tent, which is based in Enfield, Connecticut in the USA. This branch was founded in 1970 and is still very active to this day. The tent members meet at least four times a year when they watch old Laurel and Hardy movies using a genuine 16 mm projector. The fifth tent to be formed was the Way Out West tent of Los Angeles which was started in 1967. In Germany alone, there are at least 10 tents that are active. From Another Fine Mess tent in Hamburg to the Going Bye-Bye tent in Berlin. Even Sweden has a tent called The Laughing Gravy tent which holds regular meetings and has screenings of the Laurel and Hardy movies.
Ireland has the Jitterbugs tent which holds meetings and screenings and even has a sing song where they sing the Sons of Desert song. This club was founded in 2004 and has up to 200 members today. They not only hold meetings every month but also have a magazine. The USA has several tents found in almost every state, ranging from Alaska to Wisconsin. California has the most tents in America, with 13 separate tents.
Although the tents are all under the collective International Laurel and Hardy Society, they do all operate independently of one another. For the most part the tents that are still active have weekly or monthly meetings where they screen movies. Each tent also has an oasis number which was given out when they were formed, so the oldest tents have the lowest numbers.
The tents are very diverse in how they operate with some showing movies on DVD format while others still using the original projector. The number of members varies as well from as little as one person to over 200 members. They also meet at different times and with different frequencies.